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"Resolved That Man Will Fly"

Design sketch of the model of the monoplaneMr. Martin joined a debating society at Brush College, near Canton. When asked to suggest a subject for debate he proposed. "Resolved that man will fly." Everyone laughed. No one else would take the affirmative. Not discouraged, Mr. Martin debated alone against three on the negative. He won against the three. The study he put into the debate gave him an inspiration and belief in the possibilities of flying that never weakened.

Finished prototype of the Martin monoplane

On April 22, 1900, Mr. Martin appeared before the New York Aeronautic Society and demonstrated a small model of his plane which made several flights powered by rubber bands. It is believed that this may have been the first demonstration of a practical miniature flying model and the forerunner of a sport which has become a favorite with boys throughout the world.

Meanwhile he became a successful and up-to-date farmer. He adopted the latest agricultural methods and was the owner of the first grain reaper and binder used in Plain Township. He acquired half of the farm (62 acres) that belonged to John Pontius, his father-in-law, on the Harrisburg Road. His farm home was the hip-shaped building, still standing, which was sold to Herman J. Moore in 1945, and was later purchased by Blaine M. Davidson. Holtz, was second cousin to Mrs. Grover Cleveland. By the second marriage there were three children...James H., Charles C., and Eudora (who died in August, 1998 at the age of 94).

During William H. Martin's long continued aeronautical experiments, others about the country began similar experiments. On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first successful flight in a heavier than air mechanically propelled biplane, rising from the base of Kill Devil Hill four miles south of Kitty Hawk, N.C. He flew 120 feet in 12 seconds in a 27 mile an hour wind. The fourth flight the same day was made by Wilbur Wright...a distance of 852 feet in 59 seconds. Their plane was patented May 22, 1906

Experiments Pay Off >>

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